MotoGP rookie Loris Baz faces yet another new circuit at this weekend's Japanese round at Motegi.

The Frenchman struggled with a neck injury after a heavy practice fall last time at Aragon. But with nearest rival - and 2016 Avintia Ducati team-mate - Hector Barbera also failing to score, Baz still takes a five point lead over the Spaniard into the final four races.

"It will be my umpteenth debut on the Yamaha Forward this year!" Baz said. "Motegi is a track that I don't know and I definitely start with a small gap compared to the others, but I'm confident we can do well.

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"I did not score points at Aragon but I've not lost any. The goal in Japan is to fight with the other Open bikes and defend the lead in the standings".

New team-mate Toni Elias will be taking part in his second race for Forward and looking to improve on 21st and last at Aragon.

"It will be my second weekend with the team. I will continue my familiarization process with the Yamaha Forward in view also of the other two other remaining races and the season finale in Valencia. The goal is to be able to pick up the pace to fight with the others," Elias said.